SaySo, Strong Able Youth Speaking Out, is a statewide association of youth aged 14 to 24 who are, or have been, in the out-of-home care system in North Carolina, including foster care, group homes, and mental health placements.

SaySo began in 1998, and today the organization boasts 27 chapters across North Carolina and a membership of over 500 young adults in foster care and alumni who remain committed to elevating youth voice. SaySo works with youth in foster care, foster care alumni, social workers, foster parents, and foster care advocates. SaySo also advocates for foster care at the local and state government levels, informing legislators of the challenges and opportunities facing youth in foster care.

Annual SaySo Events

Through a series of yearly events, conferences, and opportunities for youth in foster care, SaySo helps youth with their lives within the system of care, as well as transitioning out of foster care, by informing them of services and resources available to them and teaching them essential life skills.

  • SaySo Saturday
    One-day conference for all 100 counties to come promote youth voice, leadership, and engagement that includes a range of workshops, regional election for the youth board of directors, reunion celebration for members, and acknowledgement of local chapter achievements.
  • It’s My Transition
    One-day event for youth ages 16 and older that focuses on two of the eight LINKS outcomes and preparing them for self-sufficiency.
  • SaySo Survivor
    Overnight leadership retreat that focuses on identifying and sharing resiliencies that help young adults move from surviving to thriving in their experiences.
  • Page Week
    One week for SaySo young adults to participate in the North Carolina government page program.
  • LINK Up
    One-day event for youth ages 13-16 who will participate in workshops on education, relationships, decision making skills, healthcare, sexual health, and compete in life skills games.

Why Join SaySo?

  • SaySo members join others who understand and support the same issues and solutions.
  • Members can be active on a variety of boards, statewide and nationally.
  • Members advocate at conferences all over the state of North Carolina.
  • Members participate in a variety of activities to spread SaySo’s mission.
  • Members have partnered with state legislators and administrators to improve the foster care system.
  • Members are stronger in numbers.

“It has been a blessing to be a part of SaySo. Not only has it been an outlet for me, but it has also been a great support system and great to be able to meet different youth around North Carolina who have been through similar trials and tribulations in life. It’s good to not feel so alone in this world.

– SaySo Participant and Alumni


Funding to help support higher education for youth who are or have been in foster care:

Federal and national resources empowering youth programs:

For more information, to get involved, or to join SaySo for FREE, visit